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Behold: The world’s ugliest phone has arrived

Published Aug 26th, 2020 7:31AM EDT
LG Wing Price
Image: Samsung

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  • LG will soon release the Wing, the world’s ugliest Android phone of the years.
  • With an unnecessary swiveling primary display that makes room for a secondary smaller screen, the LG Wing is easily the strangest and most unnecessary handset of the year.
  • The phone will reportedly feature specs that match the cheap OnePlus Nord, but it will cost more than the brand new Galaxy Note 20 Ultra that starts at $1,299.
  • No. Never!

The iPhone completely changed smartphone design, with everyone else in the business emulating the only touchscreen phone that mattered at the time. In the years that followed, some companies attempted to come up with unique design languages to help users tell their devices apart. At the same time, Samsung started it all off by blatantly copying the first iPhones. Since then, Apple has been dictating the next trends in phone design and features, and the iPhone X was the best proof of that. Almost everyone copied the notch, with Samsung being the odd-one-out. In the years that followed the 2017 “all-screen” phones, smartphone vendors have further refined Android design and abandoned the notch in the process. This brings us to 2020 when all phones look pretty much the same. We have large slabs of glass that protect bigger and bigger screens that extend from corner to corner and edge to edge — iPhones have notches, and Androids have hole-punch cameras.

LG is not happy following those trends, and the Korean company seems ready to do whatever it takes to manufacture the ugliest phone possible. It’s called the LG Wing, and it features a swiveling display that’s at its ugliest when in the T-shape position above. It’s supposed to have mid-range specs, and cost more than the Galaxy Z Flip and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra (seen above). Yeah, LG will make a killing selling these, and totally turn its mobile business around. Not!

There’s this famous Steve Jobs quote that fits perfectly for the phone above and explains LG’s troubles when it comes to making money from its phone division. It’s about focus and the power of saying no:

People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.

LG needs some executive placed high-enough in its mobile department to say a straightforward, “hell, no!” to projects like the LG Wing.

This is a phone that nobody would have wanted years ago when we didn’t have all-screen handsets that made multitasking even more comfortable than before. Or computers that can seamlessly interact with phones, whether it’s the iPhone-Mac special relationship or Microsoft’s newfound love for both Android and iPhone. There’s no use case scenario where that design makes sense. Not even mobile gaming.

Just look how awkward that contraption looks in the short video that Android Authority scored. There’s no use case scenario for this phone inside a car, either. Just the fact that the driver has to look for and reach the secondary screen to answer an incoming call should be a massive red flag to stop production. Spoiler alert, the driver has to reach the secondary screen to answer the call or pause the music.

Moreover, imagine how thick the whole thing will be when you fold it back to use just one of the handset’s screens. It’s horrendous, but it gets worse.

The LG Wing will not be a flagship phone when it comes to hardware. It will feature the mid-range Snapdragon 765 processor that ships inside the OnePlus Nord, and which will power the Pixel 5. Also, it will run Google’s Android, which is being optimized for foldable phones but not this sort of multi-screen experience. It’s really up to LG to customize the software to give you reasons to use that secondary display for anything. And LG will need to convince developers to support this design.

The final nail in the Wing’s coffin will be the sky-high price. Per The Korea Herald, the handset will sell for around $1,600 in Korea. An unnamed official from the telecom industry said that the cost would be lowered as much as possible. But that extra screen will lead to an increase in price. The phone should launch in Korea next month or in October.

The brand new Galaxy Note 20 Ultra starts at $1,299, and it’s a steal compared to the Wing. It’s also a lot better looking than the Wing. The Galaxy Z Flip costs $1,380. Foldable phones aren’t where we want them, but the Flip is the best-looking, best-value foldable out there right now. And it’s gorgeous compared to the Wing.

If you’re one of the three people still considering the Wing, you’d better wait for the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 foldable to hit stores next month. It’ll be slightly more expensive than the Wing, but a lot better looking, more powerful, and probably more useful for multitasking.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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